May 09, 2017

Living Life Profashionally: Nick Tesla

Nick Tesla is a beat maker, Friends aficionado and overall very chill guy. Originally from Wingdale, New York, Nick moved to D.C. to attend Howard University and began making beats out of his dorm room during his second year. Four years and four projects later, he has developed a sound and studio of his own. Get to know Nick Tesla:

Who is Nick Tesla?
Nick: Nick Tesla is a beat maker. Plain and simple. A soul sampler, hip-hop lover, pretty much just a beat maker. I try to keep it as simple as possible.

TPL: Where did the name come from?
Nick: So I was living in Meridian Hall during my sophomore year and wanted a stage name so that I could start putting out music to create my image, my brand. I didn’t want to use my last name so it was between Nick Tesla after Nikola Tesla, the Serbian engineer or Nick Mercury after Freddie Mercury of Queen but just because Nick Tesla was a name already I thought that was kinda hot and paying honor to him. So Nick Tesla stuck and I think it rolls of the tongue a little better than Nick Mercury so that’s was I stuck with. 

TPL: What are currently your main challenges as a beat maker?
Nick: Mixing my beats, making sure the kick is strong, but still warm in a way. Making sure the snare is layered correctly. The fine tuning aspect of it. I’m very critical of myself as an artist and want to make everything perfect.

TPL: Tell us about the master plan.
Nick: I’m still trying to figure that out myself. I have a couple of goals set. I want to make beats for adult swim, I want to make beats for commercials, and a theme song for a show. I want to have a boiler room set, I really enjoy doing live shows just because it’s really fun to play beats live. 

TPL: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
Nick: Three days out before a show I’ll start compiling all of my beats, exporting beats, start putting them all into one project, line them up so I can play them one by one before the show, I color coordinate the pads on my table. Purple may mean play early, yellow may mean play late. And then when I’m up there I put out just kind of what I feel. If the crowd is feeling slow songs, I’ll put out a couple more or if I see some chattering I’ll turn it up a bit. Depends on the crowd. 

TPL: Is there anyone in the music industry that you look up to?
Nick: There's a lot of musicians I look up to, a lot of beat makers I look up to. A lot of the cats that inspire me on the daily are just people that I stumble across on Soundcloud. Ohbliv is out of VA, Eu-IV is out of Baltimore, Foisey is out of Connecticut, Knxwledge is a big inspiration, Iman Omari... just as a kid our age growing up listening to Kanye, DJ Premier, I mean there's a lot of people. I go through phases of who is inspiring me at the moment but all of the people I listen to are top dogs in my opinion.

Do you have a favorite project thus far?
Nick: Tes of Time. I dropped my second solo beat tape called Tes of Time on April 15. Nine tracks. In total I have four projects out. My first one was Body in December 2015. My second one was actually a collab with my man DJ DeTroyt. We produced under the name Steady Murphy and  released a beat tape in July 2016 called Three Piece and a Mix. It was three beats produced by the both of us. Two months ago I released I Just Want to be with You. It was two tracks. Something slight. And now Tes of Time. It’s my favorite because it’s the newest. It’s my baby and I want to nurture it and give it life. 

TPL: Anything special you currently working on?
Nick: I’m notorious for coming up with the promo before before I even finish the project or the beat per se. So I have a bunch of ideas in my head but I would be lying if I said I have like even half the tracks done for those projects but I have hella ideas for what I want to do as far a titles, track names, album covers, schemes and stuff like that.

Be sure to listen to Tes of Time (you just have to scroll down // you're welcome) and keep up with Nick on Instagram and Soundcloud.

A special thanks to Tobi for the photography. I also suggest following him on Instagram for a daily dose of style inspiration.

And as always, Stay Profashional. xoxo
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